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I am about to graduate with a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering, and have always been interested in pursuing a Master's degree. I've decided to put off immediately entering a post-graduate program and get some work experience first. I know there are several large companies that are well-known for financially supporting their employee's through graduate programs, and even go as far as advertising this on their recruitment pages.

My question is about whether I should mention the fact that I hope to pursue some sort of post-graduate education in an interview. Quite frankly, I don't know if mentioning it will reflect positively or negatively on me.

Ideally, it would be interpreted as me possessing a high amount of ambition, and a desire to move up within the company.

However, I'm afraid that mentioning it in an interview may unintentionally give the impression that I am not approaching the position in good faith, and simply leveraging it to get financial support through school.

Thoughts?

EDIT: Although I can understand why this question can be interpreted as a duplicate at first, I believe it is fundamentally different and warrants it's own discussion. The main difference being I am talking about a company that has an established program for sponsoring employee's graduate studies, and advertises this program openly at recruitment events. This is very different than simply mentioning a desire to attend graduate school in a vague, open ended way during the interview.

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    It really depends on the company and their culture. Some companies really value employee development and will respect your ambition to further your education. Others might take it to mean you're going to quit the first chance you get. What industry are you in? Are you planning to study a related field? Do you plan to continue working while you're in school? – AffableAmbler Oct 24 '17 at 1:47
  • I expect that if I hire a BS level stats/analyst, they will pursue grad school in ~ 2 years. I encourage it, especially since my company will pay for the school. Only bring it up in the interview if they ask about grad school. You should be honest and say you look forward to learning more about the company's financial support.... – Hobbes Oct 24 '17 at 14:22
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I would argue a strong "No".

My story is anecdotal, and is heavily contingent on the company in question, but moral of the story is that companies are investing $X into your development that will fit their needs, not yours.

Signaling that you are interested in Graduate School, means that in the near future, you will leave the company and the company will not maximize their ROI. In the rare case that they offer tuition-reimbursement for self improvement, mentioning this would be a boon.

A friend of mine stated that they were interviewed at Tesla after graduating with a Mechanical Engineering degree, but after mentioning that he was considering Graduate School, he never heard back.

I mentioned that I was considering Graduate School when I was interviewing, I never heard back.

Now from a experimental point of view, my theory is unfounded with only just two data points (and rather poor ones at that). But put yourself in an interviewer's shoes, would you hire someone who will leave in the near future to go to graduate school? Will they be able to give you their 100%? Will they remain Loyal to you versus a better paying position elsewhere?

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I've been completing a university degree in a part-time, night school program. I've listed my progress in the program under Education, because it's something that will absolutely impact my life, and I'm not going to beat around the bush hiding it from them. Most of them see it as a positive attempt at self-improvement, and don't mind my occasionally leaving early because I have to write an exam.

Since you haven't actually started yet you may wish to mention it in the interview. Really, it shouldn't be a concern unless you think the company has a specific culture of working over-time, and being available on weekends, etc.

You'll probably be asked whether you think it will impact your work at all, but all you have to do is state that you'll only be taking a small number of courses at a time, and spreading the load over a few years, etc. You may mention that you won't be applying for the program right away precisely because you wish to learn the ropes before tackling school.

The way to bring it up is to ask the interviewers whether they have policies around supporting their employees' development.

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